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Military wants to 3-D print robots, drones, thousands of spare parts

Military wants to 3-D print robots, drones, thousands of spare parts

Say you're a soldier sent on a mission into hostile territory. You'd like to have a drone to keep an eye out for ambushes. Maybe there's one on hand, but it's not quite right for the job. Or maybe there's nothing available at all.

Researchers at Aberdeen Proving Ground want to help, and they think 3-D printing is the answer.

By giving soldiers kits of electronic parts, and equipping bases with the printers, they envision a future in which troops in the field could build their own drones in a matter of hours.

It's already possible to print a drone in a day. Eric Spero, an engineer at the Army Research Laboratory, said the approach would enable units in the field to...

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